Oregon's Transportation Problems Are Going To Cost Businesses

Transportation problems and needed improvements are expected to cost the state of Oregon billions in the next 20 years. A new report is also estimating costs of nearly $2 billion a year in lost productivity due to the transportation problems.

"The Oregon Department of Transportation recently identified $9.3 billion in needed highway improvements, including $1 billion as state government's share of a new Interstate 5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Wash."

"The 36 counties say they need an additional $433 million a year for their roads. It would cost $325 million to repair Portland's approximately 600-mile street maintenance backlog."

"The study is an expansion of one released last December that focused on the local area titled 'The Cost of Congestion to the Economy of the Portland Region.'"

"It found that without increased spending on transportation projects, congestion and related problems will cost the local economy $844 million a year by 2025, including lost worker productivity, higher transportation costs and lost business earnings."

Full Story: Traffic poses threat to jobs



Michael Lewyn's picture

wishful thinking

Of course, most people hate traffic congestion, and so it is perfectly natural to believe that if we solve it we solve 8 zillion other problems (like, say, a slow regional economy). But this argument is not borne out by the facts. In fact, booming regions tend to have high congestion, and stagnant regions have much less.

For example, let's look at the Texas Transportation Institute's rankings of congestion (measured by hours lost per peak period traveler) among 26 moderately large regions (online at http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion_data/tables/national/table_1.

The five most congested regions: Riverside, Orlando, San Jose, San Diego and Denver: fast growing regions all.

The five least congested: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, and Cleveland: 3 of the 5 (Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland) are, economically speaking, are dead in the water. If anything, low congestion may be not a cause of fast growth but a result of slow growth.

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